OCTOBER 2011                                         Click on (most) images for a larger view.

Once the StoneCraft flooring was in place it was time to focus on our next milestone. The Electrical Inspection! To get ready for the inspection a lot of minor projects had to be completed. This will be our final inspection so every fixture must be installed and all cables properly stowed and secure. It is all about safety. To get us there it also made sense to complete a few other tasks, like painting for example, before the plates were installed. We are now doing the shuffle. With the floors installed we don't want to make sawdust in the house anymore so we need a new workspace. The living room in the old house has been selected so all it's contents must find a new home... but there are a few details that must be taken care of first:

       
Staining the shroud for the
air circulation system...
Installing the fan for the
air circulation system...
Installing the shroud for the
air circulation system...
Baseboard that will be behind the bookshelf on the west wall.
       

The air circulation system is driven by a silent bathroom fan that moves 90cfm installed just under the highest point of the upstairs cathedral ceiling. The air is pushed down a 4" round duct and exits on the floor downstairs, bringing the warm air trapped upstairs back into the main living area.

Vertical tongue and groove decking to cover the north side of bar counter complements the floor pattern.

       
 

Some of the window sills get installed to clear off the drying rack...

   
     
Gluing and clamping the light box
for the laundry light.
Finishing the under sill light box. Protecting the hard wire adaptor. Wiring the adaptor.
     

One of the benefits of learning all the trades is that you can combine carpentry with electrical work and create unique, low cost lighting solutions. This laundry light is one of them. By slightly modifying the design of the window sill, we created a perfect shade for this low cost fluorescent light.

The view from underneath
after installation
The view from the front
after installation
   
       
Code requires all plates and fixtures to be in place for the final
electrical inspection.
So we needed to finish
painting the bedroom...
...and guestroom. ...before installing the receptacles, switches and plates.
       
The final inspection is a big deal. At least it was to us. Both of us had only done minor electrical repairs in the past and to take a whole house from the underground service to this finished state was a thrill indeed. The inspector would not let us get away with ANY shortcuts and we are thankful for his diligence. He was our parachute.
After we passed Laura could
hardly contain her excitement.
So we invited the inspector back
for a picture and after he left...
...we got our neighbour to join us
in a toast of a little Schnapps!
     
And now the shuffle begins. We can't move in yet
but the furniture can.
But of course each book, each trinket, each chair has to be washed. And then find a temporary place
in the new house.
       

There are a few more things that need to be done before we can get occupancy. We have to have a working kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. But first we need a railing for the stairs.

Empty drywall mud boxes
are great for books

Sunny weather lets us wash outside.

Music system is the first to be set up... of course music is a priority!

       

Once again the clear 2x6s we salvaged during the framing are getting applied. We decide to build our railing out of a 16' 2x6 Douglas Fir. First we rip two inches off for the railing itself and then we split the remaining 3-1/2 inches into 5/8 stock with one becoming the mounting trim.

The router is used to round the edges and this cam cleat hold the work steady.

 
       

We have never built a railing before and so of course we always build prototypes first. I learned to do that way back in the 80s when I ran a manufacturing company that did a lot of product development. Here we are building a mock up of the kink in the top of the railing so that it is easy to grasp while one is still standing on the landing. The joint is glued only with our green "magic glue" but clamping this odd angle took a little innovation. By clamping both parts to the two sections of a workmate it was easy to line them up and press them together. A straightedge clamped in place insured that the table remained flat and true.

   
     

Things don't always go as planned. The Stonecraft crew did a fantastic job with our floors but when it came time to redo the balcony to match it up with the inside floors the weather just wouldn't cooperate. So on the first try it turned out blotchy. Mark is a fantastic contractor and he and his crew came back and started all over again and were not satisfied until the job was perfect. Now the inside matches the outside and the transition is seamless!

       
A surprise visit from Laura's Dad gave us an excuse to take a little time off to be with family! Wonderful to see him!!!
 
And then it was time to install the laminate floor in the guestroom. Vacuum, install underlay and remove baseboard heater.
 

A little glimpse into our personal life: Home made soy cream (with happy face!) and organic shade grown coffee. Breakfast is always a fruit   smoothie, bowl of MŁesli with fruit and yogurt, multigrain toast with peanut butter and homemade pear preserve. Yum!  Great way to start the day!

 

On the 15th we took the day off...   We held our last $2-Buck Market for the season!

It started off slow but we still had 20 or so show up to exchange some local produce. The $2-Buck Market concept lends itself wonderfully to community participation and food sustainability. Maybe our success will encourage other neighbourhoods to start up their own! We hope it also encourages people to eat healthier and support locally grown food!

       

Then we headed into Victoria to join the Occupy Victoria crowd.  It was a great turn out with lots of discussion of the concerns of the people.

In the evening we attended Jane Goodall's lecture at Alix Goolden Hall.  What amazing work she has accomplished and she is celebrating her 50th anniversary in the field!

       

And we're off laying laminate! Well almost. We had a false start that cost us a whole day. We got sidetracked by the "pros and the do-it-yourselfers". All these showed a method that required special pullers, hammers, tapping blocks etc. Didn't work!

       

We stopped hammering at 10pm and as we scanned our emails before hitting the sack we took one more look and found this fantastic video from Hawaii that showed the perfect method to install laminates. No hammering, no pullers just skill and logic.

The How-to-Video that inspired us! :-)

We kept each course suspended with blocks as we clipped all pieces in place. We measured the last one and cut it to length...

       

We cut around posts and other obstacles easily and layer the last course in no time flat...

 

It feels so good to learn yet another skill that we could just dance!!! So we did!!!

 

Back to the railing, we measured the slope and confirmed the angle on the prototype was correct before
we routered, cut and glued the landing extension using the workmate like we did before.

 

While the glue on the railing was drying we turned our attention to the upstairs toilet. Brand new low flow toilet and it rocked on the floor when we dry-fitted it to the flange. First we suspected the floor but it was true. Then we suspected the toilet flange but it was also perfect. Finally we did a close inspection of the toilet and found that the center support ridge was too high. A few seconds with the belt sander and it fit perfectly.

 

The toilets installed (we did the downstairs one while we were at it) and it was back to the workshop to clamp the wall trim for the railing.

 
       
More filler work while glue was drying. It was time to install the stacked washer dryer we received from Garnet as a house warming present.
 
Will it fit? We had to measure again.    

We just could not believe it. they look so big!! Months ago when we framed the "water tower" we measured carefully and as it turns out accurately as well. It took two tries to get all the hoses tucked into place but there they sit, ready for action.

       

We took three days off to sail to the cottage and celebrate our birthdays.

When we came back we were keen to finish and mount the railing. Close attention to detail and accurate measurements made the anchor screws disappear behind the brackets. Never hung a railing before, let alone build one, but this one is straight and true and conforms to all building code requirements.

       
checking with stud finder measuring with level carefully installing brackets making them good and secure

Pretty proud and happy of our work!

posing!      
Next project; cabinets!

We decided that the vanity in the upstairs bathroom would be our first one so we can climb our learning curve one a piece that won't be too visible.

After what seemed like endless hours in design where we went back and fourth between framed and frameless designs we chose to go framed. We also came up with a leveling system and a hanging system that we think will work well.

These are our plans in action.     This is our base frame leveled.
       
       

Go back to last month...

   

Go to next month...

       


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